Eviction Diversion Tracker

Eviction Diversion Tracker

Welcome to the Eviction Diversion Tracker, a Texas Housers resource that allows users to understand and interpret data related to our efforts to make evictions in Texas rare and fair. The resource currently consists of two dashboards:

The two dashboards can each be viewed as a standalone, or they can be used together, for example to identify counties that still have rent relief available but are experiencing an uptick in new eviction cases entering the courts.

You can explore both dashboards below.

Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Dashboard

Since May of 2021, Texas Housers has monitored the progress of Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) programs in Texas by collecting data on their expenditures and recipient pools (see our ERA report volumes 1 and 2).

For our third round of data tracking and analysis, we have transitioned to an interactive dashboard interface. The priorities driving our research remain the same: we want to see that jurisdictions distribute ERA efficiently and equitably. This means that their ERA programs:

  • Distribute assistance quickly.
  • Target households in the lowest income bracket.
  • Target people of color.

How to use the dashboard 

Select an ERA program from the list on the left and the dashboard’s elements will auto-adjust to display information about the selected program’s distribution. De-select the program before toggling to another. When no program is selected, the dashboard will sum all local and state program data to depict a snapshot of ERA distribution in Texas as a whole.

What You Should Know: May 2022

+ Since the onset of ERA, some Texas jurisdictions have struggled to get money out the door, failed to meet spending deadlines, and returned millions of unspent ERA funds back to the Treasury (see Hays County). At the same time jurisdictions were returning funds, their eviction rates were rapidly rising.

+ Other jurisdictions quickly spent their ERA awards and even received additional funding from the Treasury (see Houston/Harris County). Now that their funds are being depleted, their eviction rates are beginning to rise as well.

+ ERA distribution in Texas has not been perfect. However, ERA alongside other pandemic-era eviction prevention initiatives were able to keep eviction rates below historic levels in many parts of Texas during the majority of the pandemic. We must continue to fund rental assistance through, for example, the permanent rental assistance fund that is proposed in the Eviction Crisis Act. 

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Read more about the ERA program and the methodology behind Texas Housers’ dashboard here. (Updated 5/25/22)

Want more info, notice a bug, or have a suggestion? Email erin@texashousing.org

Eviction Dashboard

It is a critical moment for protecting low-income renters at risk of eviction during the covid crisis. Eviction moratoria in the courts have ended and rent relief is drying up. We have some indication that evictions are on the rise again in the State of Texas, but how do we know how many evictions are happening in the state?

This dashboard visualizes what we know about the state of evictions in Texas, based on eviction case numbers reported to the Texas Office of Court Administration by local Justice of the Peace courts in the state.

How to use the dashboard 

Get information about evictions cases for Texas and individual counties:

When you open the dashboard, information is displayed for the state of Texas as a whole. 

There are two ways to learn more about what is happening in individual counties:

  1. Select a county from the list in the top-left of the dashboard. Clicking on your selection will change all of the dashboard elements to reflect the numbers for that county alone. 
  2. On the map, click on any county to pull up a pop-up window that shows eviction case data for that county. 

Learn more by turning map layers on and off on the map:

The map has three layers that you can turn on and off. These layers show:

  • The number of new eviction cases for the most recent month
  • The rate of eviction cases per the number of renter households
  • The amount of missing data due to Justice of the Peace courts not fulfilling their legal obligation to report their case data to the State.

To turn layers on and off, first click the layer “stack” icon in the top-right corner of the map. Then, click the “eyeball” icon next to each layer to turn it on or off. Please note that you can only view a layer that is low on the list by turning off the layers above it.

What You Should Know: Oct 2022

+ Eviction case filings in Texas in June and July were the highest they’ve been since the start of the pandemic, and approximately in line with pre-pandemic filing levels. We can now accurately state that eviction filings in Texas are back to pre-pandemic levels.

+ 26% of all eviction cases heard in Texas in July (6,183 cases) were default judgments, meaning that tenants did not show up in court and the judge ruled in favor of the landlord by default. Tenants may have a defense that could keep them from being evicted, but if they do not show up to court the landlord wins by default.

+ Tarrant County and Harris County’s eviction rate, already the highest in the state among jurisdictions with at least 5,000 renter households, have risen even higher. In July, one in every 98 renter households in Tarrant County and one in every 99 renter households faced a new eviction case. That means that essentially 1 out of 100 renter households faced an eviction case in Tarrant County and Harris County in a single month.

+ The DFW metroplex was a hotspot of eviction activity in July, with Denton County in the top 5 for new eviction cases filed (even though it’s #9 in terms of renter households) and Collin County also in the top 10. 

+ No courts in Hidalgo county (76k renter households) fulfilled their legal obligation to report eviction court data. We simply don’t know how many families are being evicted in those populous areas.

+ Our local and state leaders need to stabilize renters and minimize evictions immediately. They also need to invest for the long run in safe, decent, affordable housing for the lowest-income Texans. It’s a “both/and” proposition and the time to take bold steps to address the Texas eviction crisis is now. It is much more expensive to the individual and collectively to reestablish stable housing after an eviction than it is to avoid the eviction in the first place.

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Read more about evictions and the methodology behind Texas Housers’ dashboard here.

Dashboard updates log (10/11/22)

Want more info, notice a bug, or have a suggestion? Email ben@texashousing.org

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